Enhancing public confidence in vaccines through independent oversight of postlicensure vaccine safety

Am J Public Health. 2004 Jun;94(6):947-50. doi: 10.2105/ajph.94.6.947.


The National Immunization Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is responsible for controlling infectious diseases through vaccination, but the program also plays a key role in postlicensure vaccine safety assessment. The time has come to separate postlicensure vaccine safety assessment from vaccine risk management as recommended by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences.The National Transportation Safety Board offers a useful model for developing an independent National Vaccine Safety Board that would have the authority to leverage resources and expertise of various government agencies, academia, and industry to oversee postlicensure vaccine safety investigations. Such a board would have been useful in recent vaccine safety concerns, and its independence from government programs would ensure optimal vaccine safety and enhance public confidence in vaccines.

MeSH terms

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs / organization & administration
  • Licensure*
  • Public Opinion*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Safety Management / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Safety Management / organization & administration
  • Trust*
  • United States
  • Vaccines* / standards


  • Vaccines